I don’t like letdowns.
When I have high expectations for something, whatever it is better live up to those expectations, or I won’t go back for a second chance.
My expectations for the Hyundai Veloster were stratospheric. Finally, I thought, an automaker is going to build a hot car that doesn’t cost much, looks straight out of a designer’s sketch pad and offers some genuine performance chops. The initial concept sketches looked great. The rumor mill churned about this car being some kind of modern Honda CRX that Honda refused to build.
What we got, of course, was a Veloster that looks like a squashed meatball and accelerates almost as quickly.
A turbo Veloster is coming next year, but will it be worth another chance?
The current mill powering the Veloster is a 138-hp 4-cylinder mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. That doesn’t sound too bad, but the car isn’t exactly a thrill to drive. It feels heavy and numb.
The 2013 Veloster Turbo, according to a Hyundai press release, uses a new 1.6-liter turbocharged inline four, good for a more substantial 201 hp and 194 lb-ft of torque. Hyundai says that when equipped with a manual transmission and running on regular unleaded fuel, the Veloster Turbo will achieve fuel economy numbers of 26 city and 38 highway. There’s no official word on 0-60 times, but I’m hoping for a few ticks below 7 seconds.
Having not driven the turbo version yet, I can’t say if it’ll be the car the Veloster always should have been. It looks promising, though. It’s just too bad turbochargers don’t fix dead steering or remove bloat.
The base Veloster starts at just over $18,000, with the turbo version commanding $21,950 to start and a little over $25K fully loaded with a 6-speed automatic transmission, steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, matte gray paint, a panoramic sunroof, backup warning sensors, automatic headlights and a navigation system with rear-view camera.
The Hyundai Veloster Turbo seems worthy of a second chance in my book. Do you agree?